Letter: Provisional ballots would cost local government plenty


The League of Women Voters Minnesota rejects the flawed arguments and omissions about eliminating Election Day voter registration and replacing it with costly and unwieldy provisional balloting process.

As a nonpartisan political organization, LWV Minnesota — including the Red Wing chapter — has long-held positions on voting rights and works to present accurate and complete information on public policy issues.

We base our positions on nonpartisan factual research, civil discourse and consensus decision-making by our members.

LWV Red Wing is sounding the alarm about the unfunded mandate hidden in this legislation.

A 2012 Pew Charitable Trust study found that each provisional ballot issued cost Maricopa County. Arizona, $5.29. Each ballot counted cost $6.35. Maricopa County had 120,000 ballots issued in 2012.

As Terry Kalil, Minnesota LWV voters wrote in a letter to members: How many will Minnesota have if this passes?

No one in the Legislature dares estimate this or the true cost being pushed down on cities and towns, she noted.

Olmsted County's elections manager estimated the cost at $15 to $18 per ballot plus costs of polling place staffing, training election judges and required postage for notifying voters whether their ballot ultimately counted.

Where is the funding for this added burden on local government?

Kathleen Bibus

Red Wing